Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
Also see Carole's review of The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley
Miss Bennet is a new story of middle sister Mary, who has always been overlooked but who finally is able to express her true self and find a partner who completely appreciates her. Sarah Kesselring as Mary and Cash Martinez as Arthur De Bourgh bring authentic quirkiness and innocence to these characters as they fall in love. Jessica Alden as Elizabeth Darcy and Tanner Sroufe as Fitzwilliam Darcy anchor the action nicely. Outstanding support is provided by the rest of the cast.
The set and costumes for this production deserve special kudos. Although the drawing room seems stuffed with furniture, the director uses each area well, and movement throughout is facilitated. The costumes are in-period and fit nicely on all the players. Special mention should be made of the women's period hairstyles; they are well executed and perfect for each lady.
Mary's piano playing is integral to her character and to the action of the play. It is fortunate that Sarah Kesselring is able to play the piano on stage for all of the important scenes. This greatly enhances the verisimilitude of the production.
There are few pauses in the action of the play. The director has preserved forward momentum by choreographing the transitions in keeping with the style of the performance. Set decorations between the two acts are facilitated by the actors as they decorate the drawing room for Christmas Eve during the intermission in full view of the audience. Tableau-like transitions are also employed to keep the action fluid. This results in keeping the audience focused throughout. The play seemed to fly by. Jane Austen fans will find a great deal to love here.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley runs through December 24, 2023, at The Adobe Theater, 9813 4th Street NW, Albuquerque NM. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. General Admission, $24 Discounted Admission $20. For tickets and information, please visit adobetheater.org or call 505-898-9222.
Directed by Robin Havens-Parker, Set Design by Linda Wilson, Costume Design by Rhonda Backinoff. Cast: Jessica Alden, Isaac Dean Carrillo, Claire Gardner, Lauren Jehle, Sarah Kesselring, Valerie Lawdensky, Cash Martinez, Kristine Padilla, Tanner Sroufe.